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Joe Blunt's Lane

Joe Blunt's Lane in an ancient tree-lined track in Thetford, linking Croxton Road and Norwich Road. It is a Public Footpath and a Permissive Bridleway, allowing use on foot, bicycle and horse. There is an underpass/tunnel taking the Lane under the railway.

Near the Croxton Road end, Joe Blunt's Lane runs between the main Thetford Academy site and its car park. The Lane also provides access to the Thetford Skate-park and Blakeney Meadows. Near the Norwich Road end, the Lane separates the Admirals estate from Phase 1 of the Thetford Sustainable Urban Expansion.

Despite its status as a permissive bridleway, the track is not really suitable for cycling or equestrian use. Towards the Croxton road end it is fairly narrow, and towards the Norwich Road end it can get muddy in places after rain. Nevertheless, the route will form an important cycle link for the Urban Expansion. It has been suggested that a parallel cycle route be created to allow more space and a better surface without harming the rural character of the Lane.

Two views looking north-west along Joe Blunt's Lane in June 2020.

History and Naming

It is not entirely clear how the lane got its name, but legend has it that the lane was named after a local man who hanged himself from the railway bridge after being falsely accused of a crime.

Possible use of underpass as a busway

As part of the Kingsfleet development, there is a possibility that the railway underpass on Joe Blunt's Lane could be used as a busway. However Policy TH11 in the Thetford Area Action Plan puts strict conditions on this, so it would only be allowed if a proposed railway bridge further north was not viable, and could only be used by school buses at the start end end of the school day. However, planning permission for the busway could still be granted by Breckland District Council in violation of this policy.